Labour's West Midlands Mayor candidate vows to bring buses under public control - The Solihull Observer

Labour's West Midlands Mayor candidate vows to bring buses under public control

Solihull Editorial 23rd Mar, 2024   0

THE LABOUR Party have named their Mayoral candidate for the upcoming West Midlands Mayoral elections in May.

Richard Parker will be standing in May’s election and has vowed to ‘bring buses under public control’ if he comes out on top.

He said the process, known as franchising, will allow the Mayor to control routes, fares and overall standards for buses in the region.

Currently these are decided by private bus companies but franchising means operators will instead be contracted to run services on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

He added the current Mayor, Andy Street, is propping up the private operators in this broken system having been in post for seven years and actively decided against taking control of bus services.

Richard Parker said: “For far too long, our buses have been run in the interests of the private companies, not passengers.

“Last year we saw fares rise, despite promises from the Mayor. The only way to ensure buses are cheap, reliable and serve every single corner of our region is to take control.

“It’s simple – I’ll bring those buses under local control.

“Under our Conservative Mayor buses aren’t reliable enough and are too expensive.

“It’s not right that the profits being made are going into the pockets of these bus companies, when they should be reinvested in services. We must improve services, that’s what I’ll be doing if I’m elected in May.

“By fixing the buses, we’ll increase capacity on our tram and rail networks and reduce traffic on our roads. We’ll be leaner and greener and it’ll put money back into people’s pockets.”


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